Wednesday, January 4, 2012
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 307 DAYS TO THE 2012 ELECTIONS
Congratulations, Mitt & Rick!
There is an old saying regarding the Iowa caucuses -- "There are three tickets out of Iowa: first-class, coach and standby." It seems Iowa voters offered three coach tickets last night.
There was something for everyone. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney finished first. But he finished just eight votes ahead of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, so the result was essentially a tie with both men receiving 25% of the vote.
That is an amazing result in many respects. Just four weeks ago, Romney was in third place behind Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. It wasn't at all clear that Romney would even seriously compete in the state. Even more amazing is that Santorum was in seventh place with less than 5%!
Romney saw an opportunity and he took it. He got his vote out because he had the resources to run a top-notch campaign that beat back two candidates above him. Santorum got his vote out through old-fashioned grassroots politics. He also benefitted from a series of strong debate performances, a consistently conservative message and from not being the target of a barrage of negative ads.
As for the third-place finisher, Rep. Ron Paul's 21% showing was below expectations, and I have to believe that is a huge disappointment to the Paul campaign. In the past, Paul has often exceeded expectations because he has a following of very committed supporters. Polls leading up to the caucuses showed Paul at the top or running within a point or two of first place. What happened?
I think Paul's message of constitutionally limited government and less spending is as compelling as ever. But I think that as more and more voters considered his radical foreign policy views, they became spooked and rightly so. Like pacifists of past generations, Paul's view of history and his demand that America retreat from the world would make war more likely, not less so.
Newt Gingrich finished fourth with 13%, and headed to New Hampshire last night pledging to "tell the truth" about Romney's record. I doubt that strategy will help Gingrich win, but other candidates such as Santorum or Jon Huntsman could be the beneficiaries of Newt's attacks.
Last night, Governor Rick Perry told his supporters he was going back to Texas to reassess his campaign and "determine whether there is a path forward" after his fifth place showing. Evidently the governor determined such a path existed as reports today indicate that Perry has decided to stay in the race.
One person not staying in is Rep. Michele Bachmann, who finished sixth. This morning she cancelled a planned event in South Carolina and officially suspended her campaign.
ABC and NBC will host debates in New Hampshire this weekend. Then the voters of the Granite State will go to the polls on Tuesday, January 10th.
Now here are some troubling facts. For much of the past year all the evidence suggested that Republicans were far more enthusiastic about the upcoming elections than Democrats were. That was certainly true in 2010 when conservatives scored historic victories. But turnout for the Iowa caucuses appears to have been approximately the same as 2008.
Meanwhile, the well-financed Obama campaign had dozens of surrogates on the ground aiming their fire at the GOP front-runners. And if you went to the website of the Des Moines Register to get the latest news on your favorite candidate, you would have likely seen that virtually every available ad space had been bought by the Obama campaign.
This is a stark reminder of how much money the Obama team has, and why we will be asking each of you to step up to the plate throughout the year.
You CAN Make A Difference!
Let me share with you a message I received this morning from one of our supporters in Georgia:
"Gary, I don't get to experience many success stories like this, but just had to share with you this morning's Facebook entry from one of my friends after I shared your report, along with my comments:
Wow. Have had my eyes opened. I will not be voting for Ron Paul. …Ron Paul even said he would not have ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I cannot agree with this. This is not the only reason. …I will more than likely be voting for Rick Santorum.
"This is encouraging...had to share. This happened because of you and the work of your team...please share with them. You taught me how to do this. NEVER give up. Keep fighting the good fight!"
My friends, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
That is why it is so important for every person reading this daily report to be actively engaged in the battle for our values. Talk to your friends and family members. Conduct a voter registration drive at your church or office. Make it your New Year's resolution to "adopt a voter." Identify one person who voted for Obama last time, who may be on the fence this year, perhaps a family member, and bring them our way. Working together we can take America back!